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5 Ways to Unplug as Summer Ends

August 15, 2017

Unplug to recharge! As the final weeks of summer come to a close, use this time to take a break from electronic devices and practice implementing valuable mindfulness skills that can help in the more hectic months ahead. 

But how do you get started when you can't stop staring at the screen? Check out these five helpful hints pulled together by the D.C. Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program

plug1) If house rules around daily screen time have become more like “nonexistent guidelines,” start setting specific time limits for daily screen time for yourself and family members. Use a timer to keep track. (Yes, mom and dad. This means you too!) 

2) You don't need to track everything. If you typically utilize an electronic fitness device, put it away when engaging in outdoor activities. This lets you and/or your children focus on the actual activity and the positive feelings that being outdoors can generate and not on the amount of steps that are being taken. During the activity, practice mindfulness skills by observing what you are seeing, hearing, and smelling.  

3) Put devices away during meal times so that everyone can focus on conversation (and maybe even make eye contact). Take this time to talk about daily events. One method could include having each family member talk about a high and a low for the day. 

4) Dust off those board games. Schedule a game night with family and/or friends. Have all participants agree that no screens will be allowed during the game. You may even need to find an actual dictionary for Scrabble.

5) Practice putting yourself on your to-do list by taking a minimum of five minutes each day for silence and solitude. If you become comfortable with five minutes, increase by five-minute increments. Dr. Elisha Goldstein offers a short video to illustrate how to begin this mindfulness practice.